Homeless seek relief from heat

Thermometers all across Mid-Missouri climbed over the 100-degree mark on Sunday afternoon.

That had area health officials concerned about people without air-conditioning and those working outside under the hot sun.

Germaine Lorkins moved from St. Louis to Jefferson City four months ago. Thatâ??s when she moved into the Jefferson City Salvation Armyâ??s Center for Hope shelter. Germaine has a medical condition where hot and humid temperatures cause her to pass out.

Germaine said, â??If I were constantly outside all day, then it would not be good for my condition. Luckily, I can come here. Even if I didnâ??t stay here, they have time frames where you can sit and communicate with other people and get out of the heat.â??

Shelter administrators said they are full to capacity because of the recent heat wave. There are homeless people seeking shelter everyday who get turned away because of a lack of space. The Jefferson City Salvation Armyâ??s Center for Hope is not only a shelter itâ??s also a cooling center. That means even if they donâ??t have room for you to stay, they will allow you to take advantage of their air-conditioning, cool drinks and cool snacks during certain parts of the day. Shelter administrators suggest calling them everyday to check for openings.

Shelter director Deborah Goldman said, â??I do encourage them to come here for the three meals that we offer everyday. If they do need to get out of the heat they can come and spend some time in our dining area. We always have cold ice water, lemonade, Kool-Aid or something available. We try to have some kind of snack out. With heat as well as extreme cold, your body burns more energy.â??

The shelter has a policy to set up extra cots in their dining hall when temperatures are above 90-degrees after 8 p.m. People sleeping in those cots get to spend one night. They can always take advantage of the air-conditioning during the day.

You can check with your local health department to find the closest cooling center near you.